A PTV play called ‘Aahat’ premiered on October 5, 1991, with the John Hopkins University’s support, and Made OVER 60% of individuals consider family planning.
This 7 Episode Series was penned by Haseena Moin, directed by Sahira Kazmi & the cast featured veteran actors like Samina Ahmed, Salman Ahmed & Sania Saeed.
The story opens with a newlywed couple, Sania Saeed and Salman Ahmed, who are young, in love, and planning for their future. The narrative then jumps forward six years! They’ve now had four daughters and are suffering from deteriorating health conditions as a result of having too many children at such a young age, as well as financial hardships, and, last but not the least, societal pressure due to not having a son.
Why Aahat Became A Conversation Starter
The drama gained tremendous media coverage and fast became a conversation starter due to praiseworthy performances and an extremely strong social message that was presented without being overly preachy.
Against All Odds
It’s always said that dramas that address overly serious and taboo topics don’t really hit high viewership ratings. However, Aahat surprised us and the story was deeply impactful in terms of the number of views alone – an estimated 17-20 million people in Pakistan watched at least one episode of ‘Aahat’.
How Aahat Encouraged Family Planning
It is also assumed that dramas are a mere source of entertainment and don’t really hold the power to change mindsets but, according to surveys conducted by the John Hopkins University:
Following the screening of Aahat , 9% of viewers stated they visited a family planning clinic. According to the study, the play encouraged 12% of viewers to take action to space their children. Over 60% of individuals who answered the baseline and final surveys revealed that after watching Aahat, they spoke about family planning with their partners.